Here’s a rich and sumptuous tray bake that delivers all the well-loved flavours of a traditional Bakewell Tart, starting with an almond shortcrust base then gooey caramel is laced with raspberries and the chocolate top is decked with flaked almonds.
Makes: 16 squares
Time: 80 – 90 minutes + cooling/chilling time. (Could be spread over two days.)
Equipment: 20cm/8” square baking tin, ideally with a loose bottom
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 60g/2oz caster sugar
- 75g/2½oz ground almonds
- 150g/5½oz butter
- ½ tsp almond extract (optional)
- 100g/3½oz butter
- 397g/14oz tin of condensed milk
- 100g/3½oz soft light brown sugar
- Some raspberry flavouring (optional and to taste if used)
- 125g/4½oz fresh raspberries, halved or sliced
- 125g/4½oz chocolate (dark, milk or a mixture)
- 30g/1oz – 45g/1½oz butter
- 30g/1oz flaked almonds
1. Preheat oven to 170°C / Fan 150°C / 335°F / Gas 3. Grease and line the bottom and sides of the tin with baking parchment.
2. Place flour, sugar and ground almonds in a large bowl. Mix together then rub in the butter, using finger tips. Mix in the almond extract (if using)
It won’t become the classic “breadcrumb consistency”; it will look and feel more like wet sand.
3. Press the dough into the tin and work it level using the back of a wooden spoon or a plastic scraper. Stab with a fork a few times then bake for 25 minutes, or until light golden. Set aside.
I find it easier to spread the dough if I put it into the tin in small blobs. (see gallery 1 below)
4. To make the caramel filling, place butter, condensed milk and sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and melt everything together. Add in the raspberry flavouring (if using). Bring it to the boil, then simmer for 10 -12 minutes, stirring constantly. It needs to thicken.
5. Place the cut raspberries onto the shortbread base.
The reason they need to be cut is to ensure that when the caramel is poured on, no raspberries will stick out. This enables the chocolate top layer to be flat and even.
6. Pour the caramel over the shortbread base. Tip to spread evenly. Leave to cool.
7. Melt the chocolate and butter, either on a bain marie or use short bursts in the microwave, stirring regularly. Pour the mixture over the cooled caramel layer and tilt the tin again, to spread it evenly, or use a crank-handled spatula. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Leave to cool enough for the chocolate to begin to set.
Covering the chocolate with flaked almonds creates a problem as it makes it much more difficult to cut the block neatly into pieces. I’m still experimenting with ways round this. For this bake, I tried making nut-free channels where I expected to cut later. This helped, but was not totally successful. Another possibility would be to cut the block into pieces just before the chocolate has fully set, then gently push in the flaked almonds.
8. Cut into pieces.
This is often problematic with this type of bake. I’ve tried scoring the chocolate first before it fully hardens then cutting through later. I’ve tried softening the chocolate with a little vegetable oil while it melts. I’ve even turned the whole block upside down and cut it that way. All have varied levels of success. An important factor is the firmness of the caramel layer; refrigeration can help achieve this.
I hope you make and enjoy this. Click here for more traybake recipes.
Here are just a few of my recipes that I think you’ll love too:
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